Oct 14

Healthy Salads! Simple Staple Ingredients for Awesome, Delicious Salads!

A great staple to anyone’s diet is to include salads into their weekly snack, lunch or dinner food choices. Why?  Well, by choosing a healthier salad option, you can positively promote positive life style choices in a path to maintaining a healthy weight, gaining healthy vitamins and minerals through raw whole foods, and getting nutrients through a clean and organic food source. This doesn’t mean go to Taco Bell and get the Taco Salad with some sort of gross cream sauce.  When working with our Personal Training Clients in the Napa Valley, salads are very quick and easy compliment to anyone’s diet.

 

There are many benefits to making your own salad from scratch including knowing exactly what is in your food.  This is an empowering ability to make your own food and be responsible for what types of healthy items are being put into your food plate in front of you.  Not only are you responsible for what goes in your plate in front of you, but you can choose foods that you like and thinks taste good too!

 

Here is a list of some of the staples in salads that we promote to our Personal Training clients at Napa Tenacious Fitness.

 

  1. Arugula, spinach or baby butter lettuce. These leafy green vegetables are loaded with vitamins and minerals that are critical for the well being of the human body.  Pick which ones you like the most and throw two handfuls in your salad bowl!   Eat as much as you want to help you not feel as hungry and promote healthier choices throughout the week.

 

  1. Nuts of some sort- shaved or blanched, cubed almonds are great. Raw walnuts are another great option because of the meatiness they add to a salad.  Pistachio and cashews are also great additions to any salad.  Nut are awesome for various reasons but we are mentioning them right now due to the simplicity of adding them to a salad.  They’re relatively inexpensive too.  You buy them in their raw state and then  simply grab a handful and put them in your salad!

 

  1. Crunchy fruits like apples, pears or grapes. These are great to add into any salad to give a little extra flavor to avoid the boringness of a cruciferous, bitter green salad.  In addition, you get some fresh fruit that has great antioxidant and anti inflammatory benefits!

 

  1. Home Made Vinaigrette. Critical for any salad.  A great basic vinaigrette is rice wine vinegar, olive oil, mustard, lime juice, salt and pepper and a little bit of honey.  If you want to enjoy your salad, make sure to have a tasty dressing you actually enjoy.  A great healthy choice for dressing is one that does not have cream and ton of artificial fillers in it.  You can establish that by just mixing oil, vinegar, citrus and honey.

Putting a raw salad in your dietary habits is a great way to positively influence losing weight, maintaining a healthy weight and keeping the body feeling good and absent of disease.  So go create

Oct 06

Alcohol Free Days, AKA “AFD’s”

Everyone wants to go out for a drink with their friends every now and then. It’s always nice to celebrate the end of a long work week with a tasty alcoholic beverage such as the one of the finest glasses of wine from the Napa Valley, a delicious craft IPA, or an awesome cocktail from one of the Napa’s fanciest restaurants.  Let’s face it, alcoholic beverages taste good. And they sure as hell make you feel good too. However, there are some important things to know about alcohol and how it effects the physiology and chemistry of the human body. If you’re looking to achieve important goals through your Lifetime Fitness routine, educating yourself on what alcohol does to the human body is critically important toward your progress.

 

Losing weight can arguably be one of largest goals mentioned that we deal with over at Napa Tenacious Fitness with our Personal Training clients here in the Napa Valley. Something that’s usually brought up is eating habits. It is argued that abs are made in the kitchen. This is actually very true. What you put in your mouth and what metabolizes in the human body is very important toward the distribution of fat in the human body. However, what some of our clients don’t touch on is the amount of alcohol that they consume throughout the week.  Time and time again, we will see clients who are looking to lose an extra 5 to 10 lb. after their diet is very meticulously designed and organized. Clients will report that they are eating salads, decreasing carbohydrate consumption at night time, and not eating as many breads. And then they state that they are still hanging on to a few extra pounds from their goals that are important to them. An important question to ask would be “how many times a week are alcoholic beverages consumed?”

 

This is a critical component toward weight loss. Not only does alcohol give excess calories and spike insulin, which will lead to unused calories being stored as body fat and telling subcutaneous fat cells to grab onto excess calories that are not utilized for resynthesis of lean muscle, but alcohol is a huge diuretic.  A diuretic response is very similar to the body detecting a poison. Once the body detects something that is not synthesized and broken down correctly to aid the functions of the human body, the body detects it as a poison and then goes through a process called fermentation. When fermentation occurs, the body will excrete the alcohol and will also flush out proteins that are responsible for rebuilding cells in the human body in the urine.  Essentially, the body is being stripped of vital nutrients that are critically important for losing weight, building lean muscle, and increasing the immune system. Therefore, when alcohol is consumed, not only are you urinating more, but within the urine there are substances that are vital for helping you obtain your Lifetime Fitness Goals, such as losing weight, building lean muscle, and creating revolutionary decisions in  living a happy, strong, and healthy lifestyle.

 

In addition, diuretics will truly dehydrate body. When the body is dehydrated past the point of standard hydration, it takes a ful three days of over-hydration to ensure that the body is properly hydrated. The human body will not recover hydration in just one day. Therefore, it’s important to know that when alcohol is consumed, these detrimental things will be occurring in your body.  Rehydration takes a full three days of over-hydration. The body detects alcohol as a poison, and is treated as a diuretic by eliminating positive building proteins and other minerals throughout urine.

 

We’re not saying don’t drink at all. Life is short, and alcoholic beverages put a lot of joy in certain people’s lives. However, what we are saying is that it would be helpful to your Lifetime Fitness Goals to monitor the amount of alcohol that you drink for a week. For instance, a good solution for individuals who are not tracking the amount of alcohol they are drinking per week, would be to make sure that there is a three-to-one “alcohol-free day” to “alcohol indulgence day” ratio.  “Alcohol-Free-Days” are also known as AFDs!  And we can call “alcohol indulgence days” AIDs… This means that for every day in which alcoholic beverages are consumed, try to abstain from alcohol for 3 days after that. This will ensure balance that your body is not only recovering from the diuretic and poisoning effects of alcohol, but this will also curb the excess calories from going into your body.

 

So as a 3:1 “AFD” to “AID” Ratio, think:  3 AFDs/1 AID.

 

So go enjoy life, have a few drinks if that’s within your morals and ethics. However, it’s important to be educated on what alcohol actually does to the human body and how it can actually have her some of your lifetime fitness goals.

 

Oct 04

Weekly Progressions in Strength and Motivation: Progressive Overload Schemes

Ensuring that your performance is increasing in an exercise program is a critical component to committing to a fitness routine and putting it all the hard work. This means that adhering to a program that shows success in your exercise performance is a very useful tool. In our case over here at Napa Tenacious Fitness, we utilize what we call a “three-week progressive overload scheme” with our personal training participants. In these exercise overload schemes, we progressively challenge our clients to increase the frequency of the amount of repetitions that they perform in a certain exercise, increase the resistance in strength training routines, decreasing an angle to create more torque on a certain exercise movement, or increasing the challenge of a certain exercise such as implementing a exercise technique that will challenge balance, coordination, or thought.

 

An example might be performing an exercise each week such as a bodyweight squat. The first week we would do three sets of 10 repetitions, followed by the second week doing three sets of 12 reps editions, and finally finishing with three sets of 15 repetitions on the third week.  By tracking the amount of repetitions you are doing each week, you are challenging your body too go past its limit. When the body is challenged to go past its limit, there are a few things that come into play. Mind set On approaching and exercise is challenged, and in this case your overall effort will be put to the test to complete a greater amount of repetitions. In addition, physiologically the muscle fibers of the body will adapt to an over stressed environment.

 

When a greater amount of stress is put on the body from doing increased repetitions, muscle fibers will want to regrow and get stronger over time to match the demands of increased repetitions. The same mode of thought applies to overall drive and motivation to work to achieve more reps week after week. Therefore, the increased will power and increased physiological adaptation of strength will improve the overall performance human body.

 

While three week progressive overload schemes are very important to increasing motivation and increasing strength in the human body, it’s very important to have what we call an “unloading week” on the fourth week. When we work with our Personal Training clients, we implement the unloading week on the 4th week which has a lower intensity scheme and includes decreased repetitions, resistance and overall difficulty of the exercise. This week allows the body to de-stress and then come back for another first week where new exercises are introduced. By going in this cycle, we’ve seen a lot of success in our Personal Training clients here in the Napa Valley. Ensuring that a new exercise technique is introduced every 4 weeks is a great way to keep things fresh and keep the mind and  body percolating.

Sep 26

Why Hire a Personal Trainer?

Personal Training is a service that covers a lot of different aspects of improving oneself in their everyday quality of life. Clients who train at Napa Tenacious Fitness approach us with many different goals, motivations, and reasons to adhere to a supervised training program. Some of these reasons include injury prevention, losing weight and gaining lean muscle mass, and pushing oneself to achieve more in their life through an improved physical body. This is all derived from an individual’s desires and motivations and what they want to achieve by strengthening their body and mind through our tutelage.

Sometimes hiring a personal trainer is to have a trainer act as a jail guard or a slave-driver to make sure that exercise is achieved under the rule of an iron fist. Let’s face it, some people really hate exercise. It’s painful, you sweat, and there are some uncomfortable Sensations that can occur through rigorous exercise. However, the cathartic feeling of finishing an exercise session is a very liberating and empowering feeling that leaves people feeling accomplished, driven, and looking to strive for the next best thing at times.

So why hire a personal trainer? If things are going to be challenging and uncomfortable, what would be the benefit for you?

 

Well, let’s look at why you clock in for work and work 40 to 60 hours per week at your job. A lot of people would rather take a vacation and not work at all.  But to thrive in the society that we live in, hard work needs to be put in. And this means that hours of time need to be put into your profession so we can achieve things like freedom to go to fun activities, take vacations, buy houses, buy things for our loved ones and friends.  Keeping your body strong and free of illness is one of the best outcomes that a 40 hour work week will give you in paycheck form.  However, showing up to train with someone whose job it is to push you to be the strongest person you can be within that 1 hour Personal Training session will give the power to enjoy your vacations and spend time with your loved ones because your body is strong, healthy and happy!

A huge part of promoting oneself and helping one improve their overall quality life is to take care of one’s physical wellbeing.  This could include anything from recovering from a previous injury to ensure not to get injured again, losing a significant amount of weight so that health conditions and self-image is improved, or it could be to decrease stress so that your outlook on life is happier and healthier. These are all things that hiring a personal trainer can bring you. Having someone to show your face to one to three times a week and performing an exercise routine with the instruction of a trained Fitness Professional will help hold a person accountable to improve oneself. Sometimes reaching out to a coach and having them coach you is a great way to make sure that one is staying on track to live the best quality of life they can.  There are certain scenarios in which doing these things by yourself may just not happen. Therefore, taking the time aside and hiring someone to share that time with you is a good way to make sure that you’re constantly improving!

 

 

Sep 15

Shoulder Rotator Cuff Injuries: Frozen Shoulder

The rotator cuff in the shoulder joint is a very unique joint that allows range of motion of the arm in various planes of motion. The shoulder joint is a ball-and-socket joint which allows the arm to move in a broad range of motions.  Along with the broad range of motions that are involved include some muscular attachments that can be very prone to injury due to the lack of bony attachments. The attachments that are involved in the shoulder joint include small tendons and ligaments that hold the upper arm to the clavicle and shoulder blade.  Tendons attach muscles to bone and ligaments attach bones to bones. With these attachments being so small and compact come the likelihood to injure this area way more prevalent.

A very common injury to the rotator cuff joint is something called Frozen Shoulder. Frozen Shoulder is the hardening of the ligamentous tissue that attaches the humerus (upper arm bone) to the shoulder and rib cage.  When the hardening of that connective tissue occurs, range of motion is limited and episodes of pain can occur as well.

While there are many scenarios that can lead to the causing of Frozen Shoulder, a common cause is the inactivity of the muscles around the shoulder joint. One of the best ways to avoid injury is to implement a injury prevention routine in your exercise routine. Ensuring that the shoulder joint is properly warmed up is a great way to prevent rotator cuff injury during your exercise session and in everyday life. In addition, warming up the rotator cuff in your exercise routine and implementing a dynamic stretching routine two to three times a week will counteract the detrimental effects of under use injuries.

In this video below, you can see an example of protraction and retraction of the shoulder. Performing this exercise one to two times a week will help decrease the effects of under use of the shoulder joint and can also help to alleviate pain in the rotator cuff area. Frozen Shoulder is one of the many causes of lack of productivity in people who experience rotator cuff injuries. It is important to ensure that the rotator cuff is healthy throughout your life, and one way of doing that is to exercise in a safe and uniformed routine. At Napa tenacious Fitness, we have our Personal Training clients perform a dynamic stretching routine every time before they exercise. This Dynamic Stretching Routine covers a wide variety of muscles, focusing on all of the range of motions of the shoulder. The shoulder and protraction and retraction technique that you can see in this video is something that we have our personal training clients in the Napa Valley perform to help decrease the likelihood of shoulder injuries.

If you have any questions regarding strengthening and recovery of the shoulder joint from shoulder rotator cuff injuries, feel free to reach out to us at napatenacious@gmail.com!

 

Sep 05

Compound Exercise Movements: Resistance Training, Weight Lifting and Strength Training is Critical for Building Lean Muscle and Burning Fat!

The development of lean muscle is a critically important factor to maintaining strength, reducing the likelihood of injuries, and regulating the production of excess fat in the body. While working with our Personal Training clients at Napa Tenacious Fitness, we put a strong emphasis on compound exercise movements. These exercises include compound lower body movements, compound upper body pulling movements, and compound upper body pushing movements. Compound exercise movements are defined by movements that put stress on more than one muscle at a time.

An example of a compound lower-body movement would be a Deadlift. During the Deadlift exercise, force production is designated to the hamstring muscles, gluteal muscles, quadricep muscles, and shoulder blade muscles. Compound upper body pushing movements include an exercise such as the Flat Bench Press. The Flat Bench Press targets muscles of the pectoral region, deltoid region, and triceps region. An example of a compound upper body pulling movement would be the Pull Up exercise. The Pull Up exercise focuses on muscles of the shoulder blade, biceps, and forearm muscles.

Focusing on compound exercise movements is a multi-faceted method that helps promote efficiency in our training programs. Instead of targeting one muscle group at a time, it is efficient within training time to focus on movements that cover a large area of muscles. In addition, the muscles that are included in the majority of compound weight lifting exercises such as the Deadlift, Squat, Bench Press, and Pull Up crossover very effectively to the movements that we utilize in everyday life. Therefore, compound exercises are critical for strength and conditioning for the everyday life of average population individuals.

Regulating the storage of fat on your body is critically important to the success of our Personal Training clients as well. By implementing compound weight lifting exercises in our Personal Training programs, we are helping to elicit a greater growth hormone response throughout the body. By putting stress on some of the bigger muscle groups and joints of the body, a large growth hormone response is released inside the blood. Naturally occurring growth hormone encourages the production of more lean muscle mass throughout the body. More lean muscle mass in the body will lead to more synthesis of fats being used as a fuel source and muscle growth. This means that the more lean muscle that is produced in the body, the more fat that will be utilized as a fuel storage. Performing compound movements in your exercise routine will encourage more lean muscle mass on a larger scale.

It is important to include some sort of compound heavy lifting exercise at least once throughout the week. One training session per week of compound weight lifting exercises will help with the overall strength of the human body and then also the development of lean muscle. Including compound weight lifting exercises at least once a week over the span of the full year will make substantial differences in one’s training program.

If you want to learn more about compound weight lifting exercises, we specialize with this with our Personal Training clients in Napa. Feel free to reach out to us at any time at napatenacious@gmail.com.

Aug 23

Seasonal Veggies! Use the Seasons to Add Variety to your Life!

A great way to stay healthy and include variety into your healthy meal prep. is to notice the vegetables that are in season. Usually, the vegetables that are in season are on sale out at the supermarket. You can find very innovative ways to add variety into your nutritional Habits by looking at the vegetables that are in season and are on sale.  This a great way to add nutritious dishes to have throughout your day.  Some examples might include zucchini during the end of summer to throw on the grill, carrots during the fall to roast or bake in the oven, and winter squashes to make delicious and warm soups.

 

Something we utilize with our Personal Training clients here in the Napa Valley is to switch up their Life Time Fitness goals every 4 week.  Our team of Personal Trainers carefully monitor and help to manage these fitness goals every 4 weeks.  Part of our high success we share with our clients is that we are positively deceptive in our goal setting.  We ensure that our clients are constantly adapting… and no adaptation can occur without a new stimulus being introduced!  These Healthy Life Style coaching cues are along the same line as what we are saying in this article!  If you eat the same mundane things all the time… Well, your mind and habits are going to go through the same mundane processes and healthy adaptations such as weight loss, elevated morale, and exercise levels will be hindered.  Therefore, variety is ever so important.  We are fortunate enough to live in a world where seasons bring different aspects of life.  So embrace these seasons and the veggies they bring!

 

It’s always a good idea to switch up your nutritional habits so that your body can absorb nutrients from different food products. Variety is not only a great way for your body to efficiently absorb great nutrients, but this also keeps your mind adapting and progressing to become more innovative. Something that will improve your overall quality of life is implementing healthy and dynamic nutritional habits. That way you can live a healthy lifestyle and practice Life Time Fitness throughout your entire life!

Here’s a quick list of some veggies that are great in their popular seasons:

Winter Spring Summer
Beets Avocado Bananas
Brussels Sprouts Bananas Beets
Cabbage Broccoli Bell Peppers
Carrots Cabbage Blackberries

 

Aug 11

The 50 Year Old Hunch- Neck, Shoulder and Upper Back Pain… Solutions!

While working with one of my Personal Training Clients here in the Napa Valley, he mentioned that working on posture is one of the most challenging things that he does throughout his day. His reasoning for this is that he has spent 50 years of his life working behind a desk and not worrying about having healthy posture. So now he is stuck in protraction of the shoulders.  This is where the shoulder blades are rolled forward. This causes strain on the upper back because of the separation of the shoulder blades and the shortening of the rotator cuffs on the front part of your body being closer to each other. This will also cause strain on the thoracic and cervical spine do to muscles not being properly engaged to support the structures of the spine.

 

As Personal Trainers in Lifetime Fitness coaches here at Napa tenacious Fitness, a huge priority is establishing correct posture with our clients. One way to establish healthy posture is to prioritize spinal stability and to ensure the shoulder blades are retracted back in a healthy position.  Before we do any sort of standing exercise such as a squat, deadlift, or lunges, we coach that the shoulder blades should be slightly retracted backwards.  Having the shoulder blade slightly retracted backwards opens up the chest and ensures that our clients are not hunching forward.

 

Another key coaching cue for having structurally sound posture is to ensure that the ears are in line with the armpit and the armpit is over the hip. This can be viewed from a side profile while looking the body from the side.

 

Shoulder and neck pain can be caused from neglected and poor posture. Sometimes it is caused from years of neglecting components of prioritizing the movements of the body that will stem from optimum posture of the neck and upper shoulder area. Sticking to a few principles of ensuring that the shoulder blades are back are the ears are in line with the armpits can help remedy this problem.

 

Feel free to reach out to us at any time if you are experiencing any shoulder or neck pain at napatenacious@gmail.com.  At Napa Tenacious Fitness, we specialize in improving the overall quality of life and human performance of our community!

Jul 26

If it Ain’t Broken, Don’t Fix It… and If It’s Still Workin’, Wear it Down.

Adhering to a regimented fitness program and nutritional program are key factors to maintaining a healthy level of fitness as well as a happy and strong lifestyle. It is frequently seen on social media, various magazines, and other commercialized sources of information that there is a new cutting edge style of fitness training and/or a diet that will help you lose weight, maintain lean muscle in a revolutionary amount of time. While all of these things might be a great way to help creates positive adaptations in your lifetime fitness goals, sometimes bouncing from one practice to another can halt your progress in achieving your goals.

Something that we do as personal trainers here in the Napa Valley with our clients is to promote our clients our to follow a structured program. These structured programs are checked up on every four weeks. We usually keep about 50% of some of the goals and exercises that are in the program to repeated in the next 4 week goal setting process. This way our clients can practice these exercises and nutritional guidelines so that they develop competency in mastery in these techniques and carry it on for the rest of their lives. If the program is eliciting positive results and not hindering any of the progress we are making with our clients, we will not change it. This is where the saying comes from one of my great mentors “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” and “if it’s still working, wear it down.”

So it’s a good idea is to seek out a program that is good for you and start practicing certain techniques that are somewhat challenging but you can track and manage your progress to ensure that you are developing mastery in these habits and techniques. By adhering to some of the same things that aren’t boring and mundane but still serve as somewhat of a challenge to you, you will be able to create positive adaptations with your steps toward living a healthy, strong, and happy lifestyle.

Jul 03

You Are What You Eat and Do

A very common goal for our Personal Training clients that we train here at Napa Tenacious Fitness is that people want to transform their lifestyle and body into something healthier.  A very common goal is to want to lean out and learn how to implement proper dietary habits into their life.  It seems like a very simple solution when someone says that all you need to do is work out more and eat less food.  If only life were that simple.

Being sick of where you’re at and having failed multiple times in attempting to change a body that is overweight is not an easy place to be in.  Critically important modifications such as ensuring that you are eating the correct foods that are low glycemic index and having balanced portion sizes for each meal throughout the day is going to make a big difference toward ones journey in improving the overall health of their body.

In addition to having a healthy diet,  a consistent amount of activity throughout one’s week involving consecutive days of exercise will transform a person’s body into a body that is used to performing physical activity often.  A body that performs physical activity and exercises more will look and function like a healthy body with lean muscle, decreased body fat and an efficient metabolism.  This means ensuring that you are doing resistance training at least 2 times per week and doing some sort of cardiovascular activity that gets your heart rate above 50 or 60% for a prolonged period of time of 30 minutes or more 1 to 2 times a week.

A body that is consuming 5 to 7 evenly sized meals with equal amounts of carbohydrate, protein, and healthy fats five out of seven days a week will turn into a body that looks like someone who is consuming evenly portion meals throughout their week on a consistent basis.  In other words you will look like the choices that your eating habits consist of.

This also holds true with the amount of exercise you are doing throughout your week.  An individual who consistently does resistance training of compound techniques such as squats, push-ups, and pulling movements throughout their week is going to look like a person who has a body that can perform those exercises efficiently.  More often than not, these individuals have more lean muscle, less excess fat storages and increased metabolisms.  An individual who does not participate in physical activity 3 days a week and sits down in a sedentary lifestyle five or more days out of the week is not going to look like a person who participates in strenuous physical activity and exercise three times or more a week.  Once again the image that you put out there will portray the amount of exercise that you are inducing upon your body.

These points are critically important factors that will contribute toward someone wanting to transform the health of their life.  So if you want to change your image and achieve some of your goals toward living a healthier, stronger, and happier life, perhaps it would be a good idea to create a checklist that gives you weekly tactics to ensure that you are achieving some of these goals.  It’s not how Intense or how unique your exercise program is that will give you the results that you’re looking for.   Adhering to a program and ingraining this into your life will create results that will positively influence the achievement to your goals and making Life Time Fitness an everlasting component to your world.

 

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